Sunday, April 9, 2017

Surf Check, the Rogue's notes.

"Call it stoke, call it obsession, call it addiction. Whichever you prefer, when the waves are plentiful the
ocean has a gravitational pull that bends the will of men and women of surf in such a way that getting
 to the beach becomes the preeminent desire"
     -Dylan Hayden, Associate Ed. The Inertia

48th Street Break, 4/2/2017.

   Last before the first. Doing the last surf check coming in from the Midwest. Next time it will be the first since moving back. Looking for that first opportunity of the new season. Seems like there has been no real surf the last few times I've stood on the beach. Flat or blown with no clean up in between. Just finished the first full day of our own version of "Beach Front Bargain Hunt." Tired. Maybe slightly exhausted. Tight time frame adds to the feeling of being pressed. So, to cross the dunes and take in the view of a few waist to stomach leftist rollers helped to envision the future of what is to come. Released a breath. Let go of the tension. At least in the moment. Kinda helped that next steps involved getting some seafood amid a formidable Eastern Sho' sunset.

   This set came rollin' in as another two brew review. Started off with a pale that bursts with citrus and tropical punch. New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Pale Ale. May be enough to wake the dead. Big explosion that quickly mellows in the aroma and taste. Only 35 IBUs but the hop flavor feels more so. Finished off lighter. Refreshed. Up front toasty, cracker-like malt. Not too dry. Poured a bright gold with a finger and a half white head. Thin lacing. Light bodied at 5.5% ABV. Rated at a B+.
   Michigan's Bells Brewery puts out a barley wine style, Third Coast Old Ale, that almost demands a cigar (the other half of my sixer is aging for that). Named for the Michigan surf breaks. Very dark, cloudy, viscous, amber-brown pour. Tan two finger head with sticky lacing... vs. lacing that slides and dissipates. Aromas of vanilla, raisins, and heavy molasses. Tastes a bit boozy as it is a heavy at 10.2% ABV. No worries here. Slight bitterness that goes well with the sweet richness of caramel and anise. IBUs in the lower 50's. Speaking of, the perfect throwback after surfing the spring 50's water temps off the OC. Intensity that mellows. Really liked this bad ass. Rated an A.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Coastal Inquisition, the Rogue's notes.

View of the St. Martin and North Ocean City. Lookout Point, Ocean Pines, 4/3/2017.

   I hate looking for a new car. That being said, I hate looking for a new home even more so. You see parts on the inside of one place that you want to pair with the exterior of another. This one has a nice master but a tiny kitchen. Glowing hardwood floors and fancy tile, but green carpet. A loaded deck and yard, but no storage. Hot tub here, nice front porch there. Jet tub in this one, designer tile shower in that. You see all those amenities that you can get and then want, and before you know it you're all about a Quiksilver deal on an Old Navy budget, well maybe a Hollister budget. Regardless, after scoping out a number of properties in the West Ocean City and Ocean Pines areas we came across a custom built structure on Ocean Pines' north side. 
Built in a development on a point of land overseeing the St. Martin River. Soaring vaulted ceilings. Spacious kitchen that opens into a dining area. Screened-in porch with open deck. Quaint yard. 3 beds, 2 baths. Nice outdoor shower for that post-surf rinse. But, the real selling point was the "Widow's Watch," the upper deck in the front that overlooks the river across the street. 

In spite of the other homes across from us, we can see the river between the houses and across a community easement. To the starboard (getting my watermen's terms in) a distant view of North OC. Even in the living room though a palladium window we have a comfortable view of the St. Martin. Scoured the area over two days...found our element on the water. Before leaving town we had a contract in development. A true inquisition.

   Brew review to do...Kona Brewing's Castaway IPA. Poured a clear, golden bronze with a finger plus white head. Aromas were the typical grapefruit that I now notice of most dry hopped beers. Hop assertive at 50 IBUs, but not what I would say was too bitter. Toffee and malt in the background. Fresh. Crisp. And not overpowering at the 6% alcohol. Like many OC coast waves- don't wow ya, but enough stoke to keep coming back for more. B rating.
"Water is good for only
two things: floating ships
and making beer."   - Anon.